I can’t tell you a single thing I learned in school. Here’s why that doesn’t matter…

As a VC who spends a lot of time and money investing in education, people are often surprised to learn that I didn’t really care much for what was being taught in class. I wasn’t a bad student. Teachers liked me, mostly because I was nice 😇 and followed the rules. My grades were decent, and I performed highly when I needed to (on standardized tests). But, my head was rarely in the classroom. This stayed true for the entirety of my academic career, elementary school through college. If pressed to tell you a single thing I learned in a classroom, I’d have a hard time answering.

This might not seem like an argument for education, but hear me out.

I wasn’t focused on school, not because learning wasn’t important to me, but because I was finding opportunities to build knowledge and skills elsewhere 🤯. I spent my days planning school events, participating in public speaking competitions and putting together theatre productions. While at university, I organized a conference for which more than a thousand students and teachers traveled to my home city to participate. I was managing inventories and accounts, coordinating logistics and programming, practicing my TED Talk voice, and more.

I was learning a lot! I just wasn’t at a desk while doing it.

This is called experiential learning, or learning by doing. Experiential learning occurs when learners take an active approach in the learning process, compared to the passive approach of listening to a lecture.

Continue reading “I can’t tell you a single thing I learned in school. Here’s why that doesn’t matter…”

User guide > Atin

last updated: 30 April 2021

this guide is republished from an internal document that was hitherto visible only to 27V team members and portfolio founders.

Principles

Run to keep sane
Always curious, always learning
True measure of success is how helpful one is and one’s relationships

Work schedule

  • I work from home, on my own flexible time 🤷‍♂️
  • On my desk 7am-8pm HKT most days; other than a long-ish lunch break when I relax by watching TV 📺 or drumming 🥁

Comms

  • Over-communicate! I find working remotely can be quite isolating so I tend to email/message/talk to people a lot.
  • I believe asking tons of questions ❓ is the mark of someone who’s actively learning, so ask away.
  • Quick acknowledgement (even a simple emoji 👍) goes a long way with me.
  • Prefer not to use IM apps for work, to the exclusion of Slack #️⃣.
    • The reason Slack makes the cut is that it enables siloed work conversations. Never use WhatsApp or Messenger for work conversations – they’re reserved for personal uses. (ofc if you’re a portfolio founder, you do have my phone number and are welcome to call me any time!)
  • For all comms with people outside the team (which is 27V + Portfolio), I use email. I’m very responsive on email 📥, try me.

Meetings

  • I’m a power user of Calendly 📆 and have different links for differently meeting lengths; 95% probability I’ll send you one to schedule a meeting. However, if you don’t find a suitable time, lmk and we’ll play calendar jenga over email.
  • For better or worse, I spend a lot of time on Zoom calls. Default to audio – it’s very draining being on video 5+hrs every single day 📹.
  • I like to have an agenda for every call – if I haven’t sent it in advance, I’ll give you the context at the very start. I set aside an hour every day to prepare for the next day’s meetings.
    • If you’re a founder pitching your startup, you should expect me to have visited your website and read your deck. For more specific information on how I run the pitching process at 27V, read our Operating Manual here.
  • For recurring meetings, I maintain a running note 🗒️ to collate our conversation highlights and enlist action items ☑️ for me to follow up on.

Productivity

  • I obsessively use productivity tools – Superhuman, Slack, Notion, Airtable, Zapier, Notability, Calendly, Otter, Command E, Google Drive and even standard OS text replacement ⌨️.
  • Ask me about my favorite hacks and I’ll happily share ✌️.
  • I’m a nerd for great design, and spend hours ⌛ perfecting the last pixel on a deck. A common theme with all the apps I use is that they’re very well-designed. I care about aesthetics – serif over sans serif fonts, usually…

Content consumption

  • I believe to succeed, one must constantly be learning. So, I read voraciously – books, research papers, articles – and I listen to podcasts (10+hrs/week). 📚🎙️
  • Please send me content you found valuable 💎!

Feedback

  • My wife says I’m very harsh with my feedback 🤭; which is probably true. However, as I say to all my colleagues – you should know that it comes from a good heart with the intention to be of help.
  • I try to be thoughtful when communicating feedback but often struggle with phrasing and tone.
  • And I welcome feedback from you. I try to hold myself to very high standards (despite regularly missing them) and would love to hear how you think I can be better both as an investor and as a human (!) 🙌.

Thoughts on Homeschooling

I recently had an investor friend ask for my opinion on Homeschooling. This is what I think – concerns and opportunities.

I recently had an investor friend of mine reach out to ask what my opinion on Homeschooling is, especially as it relates to investing in the many startups building products/solutions for the space.

Given the current situation that the world finds itself in – locked down, learning & working at home – there is definitely increased attention on the concept with many parents considering it a viable alternative to the uncertain future of in-person learning. I will add that this has been a growing trend for a while now; been reviewing relevant companies for more than a year now.

My concerns re. the homeschooling market are:

Continue reading “Thoughts on Homeschooling”